The Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to get their starting backcourt back on the floor on Sunday night at the Staples Center. D'Angelo Russell and Nick Young were both cleared and inserted in the starting lineup against the New York Knicks. Although Young didn't miss a beat, Russell was clearly rusty, and the dynamic duo was unable to propel the team to victory.
Following the loss to the Knicks, Young spoke to the media about his status for the second game of a back-to-back against the Sacramento Kings. The veteran guard claims he'll be ready for Monday's game.
"For sure I'll be able to go," Young said of facing the Kings on Monday. "I'm anxious to get back out there, knock the rust off and get going."
Young played with a minutes restriction on Sunday. The 31-year-old, who missed six games before suiting up against the Knicks, played a little over 20 minutes. Despite the restriction on minutes played, Young's impact was felt as he finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting while also grabbing four rebounds.
As usual, Lou Williams led the Lakers in the scoring category with a team-high 24 points off the bench. Luol Deng, who has struggled all season long, ended up with his best performance as a Laker with 22 points going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Russell, however, was never able to get going against the Knicks. The second-year point guard finished with three points on 1-of-8 shooting. D'Angelo did dish out five assists and grabbed a couple of steals, but was clearly wasn't himself in his first game back since Nov. 20.
On Monday, the Lakers will hit the road for seven games away from the Staples Center starting with the matchup against the division rival Kings.